Poniard Pharmaceuticals Secures $60 Million Committed Equity Financing Facility

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug 20, 2009 (PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network) – Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PARDNews), a biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, today announced that it has secured a committed equity financing facility under which it may sell up to $60 million of its registered common stock to Azimuth Opportunity Ltd. over an 18 month period. Poniard is not obligated to utilize any of the $60 million facility and remains free to enter into and consummate other equity and debt financing transactions.

Poniard will determine, at its sole discretion, the timing, dollar amount and floor price per share for any draw under this facility, subject to certain conditions. When and if Poniard elects to use the facility, the number and price of shares sold in each draw will be determined by a contractual formula, whereby Poniard will issue shares to Azimuth at a pre-negotiated discount to the volume weighted average price of Poniard’s common stock over a preceding period of trading days. Reedland Capital Partners, an Institutional Division of Financial West Group, will act as placement agent and receive a fee for its services at the time of any draw under the facility. Any shares sold under this facility will be sold pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 15, 2009.

Poniard intends to use the proceeds from any future sale of securities under the facility to advance its picoplatin clinical development and commercialization programs, pursue potential new product opportunities and for other general corporate purposes.

“This equity line provides us with an important addition to our financing options,” said Greg Weaver, Poniard’s senior vice president and chief financial officer. “The facility has a competitive cost of capital, no warrants and flexible structure and should further strengthen our position as we negotiate with potential global partners for our late-stage differentiated platinum-based chemotherapy agent, picoplatin.”

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.

About Poniard Pharmaceuticals

Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative oncology products to impact the lives of people with cancer. Picoplatin, the Company’s lead platform product candidate, is a new generation platinum chemotherapy. To date, clinical studies suggest that picoplatin has an improved safety profile relative to existing platinum-based cancer therapies. Picoplatin is designed to overcome platinum resistance associated with chemotherapy in solid tumors, and is being studied in multiple cancer indications, combinations and formulations. Clinical trials of intravenous picoplatin include a Phase 3 trial in small cell lung cancer and Phase 2 trials in metastatic colorectal and castration-resistant (hormone refractory) prostate cancers. The Company also is conducting a clinical trial of oral picoplatin in solid tumors. For additional information please visit http://www.poniard.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company’s financing plan, business objectives and strategic goals, drug development plans, the potential safety and efficacy of its products in development, and commercialization and partnering strategy. The Company’s actual results may differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s research and development activities; the results of clinical testing; the receipt and timing of FDA and other required regulatory approvals; the market’s acceptance of the Company’s proposed products; the Company’s anticipated operating losses, need for future capital and ability to obtain future funding; competition from third parties; the Company’s ability to preserve and protect intellectual property rights; the Company’s dependence on third-party manufacturers and suppliers; the Company’s lack of sales and marketing experience; the Company’s ability to attract and retain key personnel; changes in technology, government regulation and general market conditions; and the risks and uncertainties described in the Company’s current and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2009. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

© 2009 Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Poniard and Poniard Pharmaceuticals are trademarks of Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc.